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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 18 mi (29 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,151/1 ft
Total: 59 riders
 

Mountain Biking Methodist Mountain

****   Add a review
#713 of 1,345 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#7977 in the world

Methodist Mountain is one of the newest trail systems in the Salida area, and is one of two trail systems starting right from the town of Salida. Located on the southern side of town, Methodist Mountain is very dry, with a high-desert environment. Consequently, the trails are rocky, sandy, but stay dry and rideable for almost all of the year.

While the Arkansas Hills trail system were all built by hand, the Methodist Mountain trails are machine-built. The machine work is all very well done, and the trail is still very narrow, but the main trail, Little Rainbow, has a nice, wide corridor, is very flowy, and quite smooth. As a result, this is the most beginner friendly trail in town... but it's still a ton of fun for advanced riders!

While the main trail might be easier, there are several intermediate and advanced trails in the system, too. Check out the Little Rainbow Extension for a great intermediate trail with some serious exposure, and the steep, frequently washed-out Lost Cause trail for a screaming fast, rocky, advanced descent back down to town. If you want a milder yet way-fun descent, be sure to rip down the Race Track trail!

First added by Greg Heil on Apr 28, 2020. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
This loop is a Salida mainstay. This trail has it all, a grueling gut-buster of a climb, sweet singletrack, a technical decent, and some pavement to round things out. The loop can begin/end at any number of locations. The following description starts in downtown Salida. However many people begin their journey at a pullout on CR 101 3.2 miles from US Hwy 50. By the way, the rainbow trail is dirt bike friendly so don't be shocked if you see a few.
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Ben Neumann (on Oct 6, 2018)
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Dry (on Dec 29, 2017)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Salida, Colorado

**
Easiest | 3 mi
****
Beginner | 2 mi
*****
Advanced | 9 mi
****
Advanced | 20 mi

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Reviews

  • triton189
    Reviewing Race Track:
    ****

    Wife and I rode this after little rainbow, both of us really enjoyed this trail for it's speed and views. No real technical challenges here except a steeper descent towards the end.

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  • triton189
    Reviewing Little Rainbow:
    ****

    Wife and I took this trail for a spin and really enjoyed it. Perfect for her, not too much climbing from the trail head and smooth flowy singletrack. I shuttled her to the trail head to save her from the climb up.

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  • CFM
    ****

    Rode up Racetrack from Burmac Rd. then all the way across on Little Rainbow. At the end we turned around and retraced our route back to the parking lot. Had a lot of fun swooping through the drainages. Not technical but a blast to ride.

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  • ~Mountain Bike Addict~
    Reviewing Race Track:
    *****

    What a great trail, fun up and down. Rocky sections but not too bad. Great trail to test tires and build cornering skills. Some tight turns but mostly wide sweeping turns so speed is kept up.

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  • bikecandy
    Reviewing Little Rainbow:
    ****

    This is a fast, fun, and non-technical trail. The swoops and dives of the trail flow well together. It's a perfect ride from town when you may be crunched for time and still want to fit in a good ride.

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  • bikecandy
    ****

    This is a great stretch of trail. I wouldn't say that it's technical, but I'd agree that some of the exposure and side slopes it follows will cause you to pause the first time you ride it. It has a nice flow both out and back and a great addition to a longer Rainbow ride.

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  • bikecandy
    Reviewing Skull:
    ***

    I'll agree that this trail is more fun than riding the road to connect to Rainbow, but it's consistently covered in rocks marble sized and above. It's basically a trail condition somewhere between one with baby heads and smooth path - you can't glide on it, but you aren't forced to pick a line or worry about getting hung up at all. Worth taking as part of a longer ride linking to the Rainbow sections it meets.

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  • bikecandy
    Reviewing Race Track:
    ****

    Not a technical trail, but a fun way to end a medium to short ride like we did. It's not as straight and ripping fast as the name implies, but that does make it a bit more interesting.

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  • Jeff Barber
    ****

    Expansive trail system with a different, flowier feel than Arkansas HIlls. Great connectivity to other trails higher up the mountain but also accessible in town.

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  • Scott Anderson
    ****

    A fun addition to Little Rainbow. It starts out pretty mellow but as you progress the trail on the side cuts is definitely narrower than on Little Rainbow. The exposure, for my first ride, was a little more than my pacemaker was calibrated for. Looking forward to getting more comfortable on this one. Combined with Little Rainbow and Racetrack for an out and back this makes for a good length of non-tech singletrack.

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  • Scott Anderson
    Reviewing Little Rainbow:
    *****

    A great stretch of flowing single track. If you are going to do this as an out and back I recommend starting at Burmac Rd. TH and riding up Racetrack to access Little Rainbow. This gives you the climbing first as L. Rainbow flows uphill from East to West, making the return a super fun flowy ride. Stay alert for riders and hikers going both directions.

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  • Scott Anderson
    Reviewing Race Track:
    ****

    A good start to riding Little Rainbow. A few steep pitches to test your traction but mostly a steady climb. A very fun non-tech descent. One star deducted for the super loose sand at the bottom.

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  • Scott Anderson
    *****

    Probably my favorite trail system in Chaffee County. These trails see much less traffic than the Arkansas Hills system. These trails have a much longer stretch of flowing non-tech trails so you can get a longer ride without stressing your pacemaker. Favorite route: out and back starting at Burmac Rd., up Racetrack, Little Rainbow, Double Rainbow and back... get the climbing out of the way first then swoop back to your car.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter
    Reviewing Road #5669:
    **

    Really there's no reason to ride this dirt road unless you're looking for a change... or to do some exploring and connect to other dirt roads in the area.

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  • kaseytea
    ***

    This was a nice easy fun ride for the whole family. The trail has nothing technical and fun up and downs. The trail is loose rocks and easy to slip out on some turns. Still a good beginner trail.

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  • tlongpine
    Reviewing Little Rainbow:
    ****

    I rode it as a loop from CR 109 up to the TH, then back down to Salida.

    Desert single track that reminds me of ABQ foothills, Bootleg and The Gallup High Desert System.

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  • Jeff Barber
    Reviewing Little Rainbow:
    ***

    This is a fast, flowy trail but it gets a little repetitive and there isn't a whole lot to look at out here. Still, it's nice to have a trail like this in town for beginning riders and those who want to stick close to town.

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